The transformation of the James D. Conte Community Center in Huntington Station continues.
The Huntington Town Board in December authorized a $603,000 contract with Savik and Murray, a Bohemia-based architectural and engineering firm, for professional services regarding the renovation of the former armory at 100 E. Fifth St.
The contract covers conceptual design, permitting, contract documents, construction inspection and monitoring.
Town officials put out a request for proposals on July 14 and received 14 responses. The top four proposals, as ranked by a team of town staffers who evaluated the plans, presented their ideas to the town board on Nov. 7. The evaluating team and the town board selected Savik and Murray, town officials said.
“They came in with great design, details; the numbers were great, keeping it in the budget,” board member Gene Cook said. “The design was beautiful; they had things we could add or subtract. By far they did the best job.”
Town officials did not release details or renderings of the Savik and Murray proposal.
In December 2014, the center was awarded $1.5 million in state aid, which Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said at the time would go toward design and construction costs to renovate the former armory building. Town officials said the grant, while approved, comes in the form of reimbursement for money spent, and that they have not yet received any money from the state.
Earlier in 2014, the town board agreed to spend as much as $800,000 to remediate the 25,255-square-foot building by removing asbestos, lead and mold. The board also selected Syosset-based LiRo Engineers Inc. to provide hazardous material abatement, project design, project monitoring and air sampling. The $42,956 contract is being paid with capital funds.
The environmental remediation was completed in November 2015, town officials said. So far, the town has spent $529,966 to clean up the center.
Some of the uses under consideration are a recreational facility with a full-size indoor basketball court, meeting rooms, and a space for Greenlawn American Legion Post 1244. There also had been calls from veterans groups to have a dedicated space at the facility as a veterans’ enrichment center for job training and educational, psychological and employment counseling, as well as temporary housing for homeless vets.
“I expect that Savik and Murray will help us navigate the challenges as we finalize the design, incorporate the different uses that have been suggested by residents and various groups, and come closer to actual construction,” Petrone said.
Robert Rockelein, secretary of the Huntington Matters Inc. civic group, said in an email that his organization believes the center will be a welcome addition to the community, especially for children and teens.
The state transferred ownership of the 3.6-acre site and building to the town in April 2013. Conte, an assemblyman from Huntington Station who died in October 2012, was instrumental in securing the transfer of the decommissioned building, which was used by the New York Army National Guard before it closed June 1, 2011. It was named in his memory in 2012.